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Things to do in

Setúbal District

Our most recommended things to do in Setúbal District

Setúbal, Portugal: Catamaran Dolphin Watching Tour

1. Setúbal, Portugal: Catamaran Dolphin Watching Tour

Hop aboard for a 3-hour journey and spot dolphins in their natural habitat. Enjoy a welcome drink of moscatel de Setúbal, as start your tour and then journey out to see the dolphins. After spotting the dolphins, you will receive an explanation in Portuguese and English.  Then, make a short stop to swim or snorkel and hear some explanations about the main interest points. Passing by Arrábida Mountain will also offer completely different sights of the region. The catamarans have two underwater rooms that can be used to see the bottom of the sea or you may even see a dolphin from them.

Melides: Horse Riding on the Beach with Wine Tasting

2. Melides: Horse Riding on the Beach with Wine Tasting

Enjoy a horseback ride that will connect you with nature. Breathe in the fresh sea air under an immense sky. Explore the woods of Grândola near the coast and discover the local wildlife. Pass through dunes and pine forest of the protected area of Melides. Ride along a beach that stretches out for over 60 kilometers with the ocean at your side. After the beach, you will ride close to the Melides freshwater lagoon, where you will be able to spot a variety of bird species. If selected, at the end of your activity, enjoy a wine tasting session of three different types of wine produced in the region or a barbecue lunch. You can also opt to book a private instructor and enjoy a memorable day with a group of your friends or family.

Setubal & Tróia: Sado Estuary Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

3. Setubal & Tróia: Sado Estuary Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Depart from Setubal or Tróia onboard a 22-meter long catamaran and go in search of the community of dolphins that inhabit the Sado estuary. Be accompanied by a knowledgeable crew who will use their expertise to locate these playful dolphins in their natural habitat. Learn more about this unique dolphin community, the only one of its kind in Portugal, with your expert guides. Sail through the estuary and admire the beautiful landscapes of the coastline of the Arrábida Natural Park. Keep an eye out for the playful dolphins which have inhabited this part of the coast for generations. Watch the dolphins frolic and play as they swim through the calm waters. Hear more about their feeding habits, breeding and their relationship to humans on an informative and relaxing boat trip.

Arrábida: Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience

4. Arrábida: Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience

Take in a unique experience designed for those who want adventure and nature activities. The region of the Arrábida Natural Park and the Marine Park Luiz Saldanha offers the ideal conditions for Kayaking: good weather, clear and transparent waters, and a vast sea coast to explore.  Enjoy 2 hours of kayaking along the coast where you can admire one of the most scenic views of Portugal. Enjoy the quiet and narrow beaches between rocks and secret caves along the Serra da Arrábida.  Stop at Pedra da Anicha, a small island of clear and transparent waters. Take your time to snorkel and explore the great biological diversity, cracks, and underwater cavities that provide an excellent diving experience.

Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Beaches and Caves

5. Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Beaches and Caves

Enjoy a boat tour in Arrábida Natural Park, starting at Sesimbra and heading towards Cabo Espichel. Wild beaches, stunning bays, caves and cliffs are some of the highlights of this magnificent tour. Set out on an adventure to discover all the splendour of this unique ecosystem. The tour will start at the sheltered port of Sesimbra. Firstly, visit the famous Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach. Enjoy the surrounding landscape as you dive and swim in the crystal clear waters. The tour will then proceed to the west where you will visit the mythical beaches of Mijona and Inferno.  Continue along the Arrábida Natural Park and see the famous whaling bay, taking the opportunity to learn a little about the history of the fishermen who used to hunt whales in this same area. Dive and swim in the crystal clear waters of this same beach. Typical liquor from the Setubal region will also be served. After this stop, sail towards Cabo Espichel where you will visit more caves and landscapes of incredible wonder. After all this adventure, return to the harbor of Sesimbra where this experience ends.

Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

6. Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

Depart from the Sesimbra Harbor and search for dolphins in their natural habitat with your marine biologist guide. See Bottlenose Dolphins as well as Short Beaked Common Dolphins in the clear blue waters of the park.  Learn about their food habits, group behaviors and family relations. Observe various forms of other wildlife, including birds, as well. At the end of the dolphin watching activity, take the opportunity to swim and sunbathe in one of the Portugal's most beautiful beaches, only accessible by sea. Also, visit some caves and rock formations along the coastline of the park.

Lisbon: Sesimbra Kayak Discovery Experience

7. Lisbon: Sesimbra Kayak Discovery Experience

This discovery tour by kayak is 3-hour guided tour which begins from the Bork outdoor center in Sesimbra Harbour. The tour travels through the Bay of Sesimbra, before also traveling along the beautiful coast of Arrabida Nature Park and Luiz de Saldanha Maritime Reserve. Your guide/instructor will help you find your way, as you explore the cliffs, caves, and other geological wonders during the tour. You’ll also have time to rest and enjoy a snack on Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo, one of Portugal’s areas which contains crystal clear waters. You will then paddle back toward Sesimbra Harbour, where your tour began. This tour by kayak is the best way to have fun with family and friends while admiring unique landscapes and taking amazing souvenir photos.

From Lisbon: Kayak Trip to Arrabida Park

8. From Lisbon: Kayak Trip to Arrabida Park

Discover the wonders of the Sesimbra in the heart of Arrábida Natural Park on this guided trip. Explore the water by kayak and stop at the Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach for a picnic and some relaxation in the sun. Choose between the option with pickup from Lisbon or the option of meeting directly in the ancient village of Sesimbra (about a 45-minute drive from Lisbon). Once in Sesimbra, hop in a kayak (double sit on top kayaks) to go into the ocean. In both options, you'll have all the necessary equipment for kayaking, including mandatory life vests. Sesimbra is located in the heart of Arrábida Natural Park and has the most beautiful landscape in the region, filled with limestone cliffs, grouts, passages in between rock formations, and a beach to enjoy a break and soak in the sun. The first leg of the kayaking tour includes about 1.5-hours of paddling until you reach Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach. Enjoy a picnic break where you can admire the landscape in a relaxed way for about an hour. Get comfortable on a provided beach blanket. Enjoy a homemade, fresh picnic of a salad, fresh fruit, Farinha Torrada (a typical sweet from Sesimbra), and water. Options are available if you have food allergies or other restrictions (a message will be sent with extra info about the food and with extra info before the start of the trip) but by default, a chicken salad will be served. The second leg on the kayaks will bring you back to the starting point. The journey, in general, is a bit faster as you'll have some wind helping you on the return route so it should take about an hour. If you chose pickup from Lisbon you will have time to change into a dry set of clothes before going back to Lisbon for drop-off.

Sesimbra: Arrabida Natural Park & Caves Guided Kayaking Tour

9. Sesimbra: Arrabida Natural Park & Caves Guided Kayaking Tour

Venture along the caves and coves of Arrabida Natural Park on this kayaking tour from Sesimbra. Stop for beak and enjoy a snack of traditional sweets and some refreshing water. Plunge into the water at Ribeiro do Cavalo beach.  Meet your guide and get set up with high-quality kayaking gear. Stay safe and comfortable with the included backrest and life jacket. Keep your things dry with the use of a dry bag. Set off along the coast and keep an eye out for local wildlife along the way. Visit spaces that are only accessible by boat. Soak up the tranquility of the sea without the noise from a motor.  Go for a swim in the turquoise waters of the beach of Ribeiro do Cavalo. Take a walk on the beach and put your toes in the sand. Replenish with a delicious snack and some water before returning to Sesimbra.

Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

10. Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

This boat tour goes along the coastline in search of dolphins that is possible to find again on the Marine Reserve of Arrábida. The tour will take you to the most known sighting, with a 95% success rate in dolphin sightings. The boats used are powerful semi-inflatable boats with seats and all the comfort and safety for a 3-hour journey. It's always a good experience, that combines the dolphins with a wonderful boat tour on a cost line of calm and pristine waters, that is protected from the north winds by the Arrábida mountain.

Other Sightseeing Options in Setúbal District

Want to discover all there is to do in Setúbal District? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Setúbal District

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,271 reviews

Our guide Antoine was a very excellent guide, passionate about the local history and culture and very friendly and helpful as well. He customized the trip to our liking asking us what we'd like to see and what we'd like to eat. When we said we wanted something local he took us to Bombordo in Setubal which had the best octopus we've tasted in Portugal. Highly recommend it! We even requested a stop at the beach for a quick dip and he very kindly made it happen. The tile painting offered in this tour was also so much fun and quite an unique and interesting experience. All in all a very good guided tour, definitely worth your time if you want to go sightseeing outside of Lisbon.

The horseback riding in Comporta is SO NICE, the color of the water is breathtaking! And the whole experience is worth your time, I recommend it. It was our second time in Lisbon and we would like to try something new, thank you Flavio for the amazing time we had in Portugal!

This was a wonder experience I will never forget. The charming village of Setubal, the amazing views and the funniest horseback ride I never had. Our tour guide, Flavio was extremely professional. Worth your money!! Muito obrigado!!

This activity was out of this world. We got tea and snacks and were able to grab lunch after the kayaking excursion. We were able to go snorkeling as well. It was the best part of our trip to Portugal. I highly recommend.

Wonderful guide, beautiful estate and area. Would highly recommend.